Monday, January 23, 2012

Don’t Just Trust—An Edits Rant

As my writing network widens, I come across authors that find their books have gone to print with some very obvious editing or formatting errors.  When I ask them if they noticed the mistakes in their final galleys, some respond with, “I trusted the editors. I mean, that’s what they do, right? They edit for a living so they must know more about it than I do.”  Upon further questioning, some of those never even played an active part in the editing process.  They simply changed what the editor suggested and sent it back.  Or worse yet, was never given the opportunity to participate.

For those of you who
  • Have a publisher that tells you to just trust them concerning edits
  • Only send galleys for you to look over and no edit sessions
  • Never received your galleys
  • Are told your changes won’t be made once it goes to galley point
  • Are told all books have mistakes so no corrections will be made if found in galleys

Stay away—far, far, away from those publishers!  Check with Preditors and Editors before you ever submit to a publisher.  Red flags are noted there.  Listen to them.

You have a right to see that your book is the best it can possibly be.  I know we as writers want to trust our publishers and those assigned to help us polish our manuscripts and make them print ready.  But, my friends, our books are ours.  We spend hours, months, sometimes years preparing these works.  I won't mention names here, but it’s sad to say that there are some publishers out there that simply run a manuscript through a Word editor and call it edited…never even read the story. 

Now, I’m in no way putting down editors on the whole.  I simply want writers to realize that as authors of our books, we need to play an active part in the editing process—from creation to finalizing.  And that means carefully reading over each edit session, pointing out things you find, and working with your editor on it, right down to your last chance to make sure it’s as good as you know how to make it…the galleys.  Sometimes formatting gets messed up when it’s adapted for print.  Don't be shy.  Point it out.

Of course, some things might slip through, no matter how many eyes try to catch everything.  In my book Cornerstone Deep, instead of a “chill” running up Cole’s back, a “child” did.  Lol.  That manuscript had been read over countless times by critiques, betas, editors, and myself.  It took a friend that read the book, after it was in print several months, to point it out to me.  We had a big laugh at that one.  

Okay.  I think my edits rant is done. *big blush* I feel for those authors that put all that work into their stories and end up with a product that reflects badly on the publisher they went with and on them.  Being an author encompasses so much more than just writing a book. 

Have you run across books that stand out in such a way?  Have you run across authors that have had to learn the hard way that a close eye is needed in the production of their books?  Were you one of those authors?  What was your experience of the matter?


Friday, January 20, 2012

Interview With The Kinir Elite

From the time I read Anastasia V. Pergakis’ debut novel, Cleanse Fire, I’ve wanted to have the whole Kinir Elite team over for a character interview.  To take on six highly skilled Special Forces members at once would set my imagination in happy overdrive. Lol. 

Well, I got my wish as Anastasia continued her release celebration when her novel came out in print.  I’ve looked forward to today, when I could introduce them all to you.  I had so much fun with this.  It ended up being a bit long…after all, there are six, and Skype made it so easy…but the conversation flowed so well. 

Before we get into the interview, I wanted to give you a quick rundown of the team members…

Derac: Captain, Age: 68, Birth Place: Jalah Town, Kinir, Weapon: Broad sword
Kie: Age Unknown, Birth Place: Renerr Village, Kinir, Weapon: Bow
Tyn: Age: 69, Birth Place: Jalah Town, Kinir, Weapon: Dual swords
Rakan: Age: 75, Birth Place: Alerna, Kinir, Weapon: Sword (prefers hands)
Jardel: Age: 36, Birth Place: Kinir City, Kinir, Weapon: Bow
Aeli: Age: 34, Birth Place: Lorrin, Kinir, Weapon: Sword

*Charlene sets a floral centerpiece on the coffee table as the door bell rings. Her hands fluster and she fluffs the buds before opening the door. Her breath hitches.*

Charlene: Omg. It's the Kinir Elite Team. *steps aside* Please come in!

Derac: Hello, Charlene. Thank you for having us. *charming smile*

Charlene: *swoon* Hi, Derac. Welcome Back!

*team settles on the plush sofas and chairs*

Charlene: I have to admit, *places hand to heart* I'm overwhelmed to have all of you here. *heads to the cordial cabinet* Can I get you refreshments?

Jardel: Do you have ale? Or I guess you would call it beer.

Rakan: You shouldn't drink, Jardel. We are on duty so to speak. This is supposed to be an interview. Not a time for drunken stupidity from you.

Charlene: *winks at Jardel and whispers* I'll get you a Bud light.

Jardel: *charming smile* You're amazing.

Charlene: *giggles and covers her mouth* Ladies? You have a preference? *heads to frig*

Derac: *gently pushes Charlene out of the way* I'll get that. You go sit down.

Charlene: *looks at him with star struck eyes* Thank you, Derac. *sigh* I knew I loved the right Kinir character.

Derac: *fills 3 glasses of apple juice and 3 of water*

Jardel: Charlene, you promise me ale.

Derac: *smile* But she didn't get the drinks, did she? I did. *hands Jardel a glass of apple juice*

Rakan: *chuckles into his water*

Charlene: Sorry, Jardel. Derac is darn charming. *clears throat* Okay…

Jardel: Please. I'm much more charming than he is.

Charlene: *snickers* Well, I guess I'd better get into some questions before we get into a most charming contest.

Rakan: Please do.

Charlene: With all the different personalities among you, how do you manage to spend so much time together and stay a team?

Rakan: It's illegal to kill.

Charlene: hahahhaha. Yeah...seriously. How?

Kie: I think because despite our differences...*ahem*...we all have a love for Kinir and her people. During a mission, it doesn't matter that we may not like one another that much. We have orders. We follow them. And we do work well as a team. Our skills compliment each other, even if we don't want to admit it sometimes.

Charlene: Rakan, you're a veteran at serving Kinir. You've been a soldier for a long time. I know how Derac and the others view your country.  But I'd like to get your take on it? You're always so quiet.

Rakan: What Kie said is true. I can't say what it is specifically that allows us to work so well together. We just do. I don't care much for Jardel personally, but he is my teammate, my brother. He watches my back as I watch his. It works. And while I was on the team before elfas - females - were allowed...honestly I'm still not used to the idea...but I know that Kie and Aeli have my back as well. *shrug* It just works. Don't know why. And I never really thought about it either. If it works, why worry about it?

Charlene: You have a very laid back attitude.  I like that.

Rakan: I've been in the Army for almost more than 40 years. It takes a lot to get me riled up. Too much energy to grow upset over something you can't control anyway.

Charlene: Hahaha, Rakan. So now, Aeli...*leans to Kie* I mean no disrespect here. *looks back to Aeli* You're a very feminine elfa. How do you find working with a team that is so full of ...*lifts eyes brows and looks at the guys* testosterone?

Aeli: I'm smarter than they think I am. *whispers* In fact, I scored higher on the Kinir Intelligence Aptitude test than anyone here. And by this point, I've done my 10 years of service in the Army, 5 years in the Rangers. Handling the four of them is easy compared to a unit of 30 or 40 elfs. *shrug*

Charlene: *sits back, looking more closely at her* How is it that you've been in the service for 15 years and look so young and beautiful?

Aeli: *wink* That's my little secret.

Charlene: *gives her a side long look* We'll be talking later.

Aeli: *giggle*

Charlene: Jardel...*big smile*'s Vivian?  Is there any chance you two might get together?  Even with her being a brothel owner?

Jardel: You'll want to talk to Tyn about that one. Vivian is his girl.

Charlene: Oh my word. *blushes and looks at Tyn* Tyn you've been so quiet!  I'm so sorry!

Tyn: *smiles* It's all right Charlene.

Charlene: So...any chance?

Tyn: Probably not. *small smile*, really don't allow for a stable type of relationship.

Charlene: Oh, I'm sorry. I just remember the scene of you with her in Cleanse Fire. I can tell there's a real spark there.

Derac: Which is really why their relationship works on the level that it does. They both understand the demands of their work.

Tyn: Exactly. But it will never be more than what it is.

Charlene: You know Tyn very well, Derac.

Derac: Of course I do! We grew up together, remember?

Charlene: I remember. *smiles* But my readers don't know it. *wink* You just told them.

Derac: Oh yes.

Charlene: Lol.  I'm so comfortable here now, it's amazing. You wouldn't think I have a living room full of the most respected elves in Kinir., sweetie, it's your turn.

Jardel: Oh? For what? *wiggles eyebrows*

Charlene: You strike me as a fun loving sort.

Rakan: He's young and impulsive. How is that 'fun loving?’"…Oh, and a nit-wit.

Charlene: Lol. Sounds fun loving to me. With your youthful exuberance, my heart was warmed to see how you reacted to the little faery in the story.

Jardel: Brina? Yes. She is adorable.

Charlene: Well, you were a complete angel with her.

Jardel: *big grin* Yes. Angelus Cristos. A Guardian angel. *nods* Just one of my amazing personality traits.

Charlene: I can see humility is one of your amazing personality traits as well. *wink*

Rakan: *to Derac* Why do you let him out in public?

Jardel: I know I'm amazing. Why hide it?

Derac: *to Charlene* The funny thing is, I've heard Rakan used to be exactly like Jardel when he was younger.

Rakan: *quirks brow* Someone has been telling lies I see.

Charlene: *ahem* Kie...

Kie: Yes?

Charlene: There are actually so many questions I'd like to ask to get to know you better. Seriously, we'll have to get together and have a girl's day out

Kie: Oh? What sort of questions? You can't ask with the elfs around?

Charlene: Oh, not that they couldn't be around. It’s just I love your personality and would like to get to really know you more.  You're a complex elfa. But, probably one of the things I really like to know is...why you love battle strategy books so much?

Kie: *laugh* They have all the action in them! Epic battles, fight scenes! The strategy itself makes you think. Why did it work or why didn't it? How could it have been done better? Exercise the mind, not just your body.

Charlene: I see. I like working my mind too. But I can't say I'd want to hide out with a book on battles. Lol. But you are obviously a great addition to the team.

Kie: Why thank you.

Charlene: Did you ever expect to *glances at Derac* catch the eye of *blushes* your Centurio as you call him?

Kie: *smile* No I didn't. It is frowned upon to be in a relationship with a member of your unit, and even worse with your commanding officer. While I did find him attractive, intelligent, and dedicated when I first met him, I didn't allow myself to think of him than more than just my Captain. And in the book, as you know Charlene, I continued to force and remind myself to not think of him any other way. But, in the end, I lost.

Derac: *charming smile*

Charlene: Yes you did. *looks at Derac* Shame on you.

Kie: Or won, if you want to say it that way. *laugh*

Charlene: You know me. I say "won."

Derac: I didn't do anything! It's Kie's fault.

Charlene: *looks at Kie*

Kie: What?

Charlene: Well, I'm sure we could go back and forth here for quite some time with this. Lol.

Tyn: It's both. Kie you were flirting, calling him 'Centurio' and Derac...Derac it's just your fault. Sorry. It's true.

Charlene: Hahaha. I love you, Tyn. So, Derac...We come down to you.

Derac: Yes, Charlene?

Charlene: With everything Anastasia put you through in Book One of the Kinir Elite Chronicles, has she let you in on what will happen next?

Derac: *laugh* I know I say Anastasia forces me to go through all these evil things. But, really, it's how the story goes. I tell her what happens and she writes it down. So, yes, I already know what is going to happen.

Charlene: I'd ask for a hint...  But I'll save that for another interview. *wink* I plan to have you back.

Derac: I'll visit anytime you like, Charlene.

Charlene: I'll call you on that, sweetie. But if you could point out one thing that happens in Cleanse Fire that would leave our readers wanting more, what would it be?

Derac: One thing to leave the readers wanting more? Hmmm.

Jardel: I'm in the story. What other reason could there be to read it?

Charlene: Hahaha.

Derac: The villain and I can relate to each other on a level that even my teammates can't understand. It creates interesting tension at the end of the book as we figure out how to defeat him.

Charlene: So...there's a common thread between you two. Wow.

Derac: Yes. And, we address the question, "Where is the line of what is good and what is evil?" because of that common thread.

Charlene: A must read for sure! I'm so thrilled to have you all here. Seriously, I had to clear my family out so I could have you all for myself. Please tell me you'll come back for the release of Blood Trade.

Derac: Thank you for having us.

Jardel: For you? Of course. *wink*

Charlene: *swoon* *mumbles under her breath* Man. I gotta get my heart under control. *ahem* Thank you again for visiting.

Jardel: *kisses Charlene's cheek* Thank you for inviting us. *strolls from the room*

Derac: *kisses her other cheek* Yes, thank you. And we'll come back anytime.

Charlene: *holds her hands to her cheeks and watches the Kinir Elite team depart* *looks at the blog readers* Am I blushing as red as I feel I am?

Cleanse Fire

The Kinir Elite, a team of warrior elves, protect the innocent and the repressed from those that try to torture or kill them. Their unique skills with weapons and healing, enable them to save the lives of many people.

Led by Captain Derac Vidor, the team battles against evils of all kinds – including the evil within themselves. Where does the line between good and evil really fall? The six elite warriors struggle to stay on the good and righteousness as they fight against the true evils of the world.

Will their own demons destroy them first? In the end, who really wins?

Join the Kinir Brigade by signing up for Anastasia’s newsletter! Get exclusive deals, access to special giveaways, and inside information about the series! Join the Kinir Brigade now and receive the first five chapters in your email! And don't forget to visit their Facebook Page and Website too!

You can get your own copy of Cleanse Fire here:

~ * ~ * ~


Anastasia is giving away an e-copy of Cleanse Fire! Leave a comment on this post to enter into the random drawing. She’ll draw the names at the end of her tour, January 31, 2012. If you want more chances to win a copy, go to her website and follow the tour!  The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win!

All commenters will also be added to the drawing for a chance to win a signed hard cover. Drawing for the hardcover will be on January 31, 2012, the end of the tour.

You can also get more chances to win by tweeting or posting on facebook! Just leave a link to the tweet or post in a comment below!

**All Winners will be announced on the Kinir Elite Website on February 1st**

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Grand Prize Winner Is...

I got word from S.L. Claridge, the master-mind behind the Friday 13th Blog Hop, that the Grand Prize winner of the Kindle is...........

Michelle Bledsoe

Congratulations, Michelle!

And thank you, everyone who took part in the Hop!

Watch for more chances to win great prizes.  I've signed up for more Hops and contests.  I'm going to make 2012 a year to remember!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winners of Charlene Blogs' Friday 13th Giveaway

Announcing the winners of Charlene Blogs' Friday 13th giveaway

A PDF of Cornerstone Deep         $5 Amazon gift card            .

There are two winners...

The winner of a PDF copy of Cornerstone Deep is 

The winner of a PDF copy of Cornerstone Deep & $5 Amazon gift card is 
Jean P

Congratulations!  I'll be in touch with each of you shortly. 

Thank you everyone for making the Hop a great success!


Friday, January 13, 2012

It's the Friday the 13th Blog Hop!

It's the Friday the 13th Blog Hop!
and she will display the link to the next stop in the Hop in her post.  Each blogger will do the same, so you'll be visiting every link in the Hop's chain.  If that host is offering a giveaway on his/her blog, go ahead and enter to win their contest.  

*NOTE* These contests are not connected to the grand prize drawings at the end of the Hop! They are for those individual blogs.

Follow the links as they lead you to the grand prize forum at the end.  Fill out the form provided there and you'll be added to the drawing.  Among the prizes are books, gift cards, and a Kindle.  That's right.  Enter to win and you'll have a chance at the grand prize--A Kindle!

So, if you came to me first, you might want to skip over to her and follow the chain.  You don't want to miss out on the great posts the others are sharing!  With all the amazing authors taking part, this should be a fantastic day of hopping!

Friday the 13th

The first Friday the 13th of 2012 has many meanings.  It’s the “Blame Someone Else Day,” the “International Skeptics Day” and the “Make Your Dream Come True Day.”   Sounds like some great themes for a BLOG HOP! 

But probably the meaning that sticks out the most in my mind is the unlucky, scare-me-to-death day that the movies portrayed as I grew up.

Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)
Jason X (2002)
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Friday the 13th (2009)

Enjoy a little taste...

But we're going to change the meaning for you and give you a chance to win on this Hop!

What I'm offering here on Charlene Blogs:

A PDF of Cornerstone Deep              $5 Amazon gift card          .

There will be two winners.  

  • One will receive a PDF copy of Cornerstone Deep
  • One will receive a PDF copy of Cornerstone Deep AND a $5 Amazon gift card.

All you have to do to be entered is:

  1. Join Charlene Blogs and be counted as a friend.
  2. Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win.  (example:  signmeupto [at] win [dot] com)

(I'd love you to join me at my Facebook Fan page too. *wink*)

It's as easy as that! 

I'll announce the winner for my giveaway on Saturday the 14th.  Details on the grand prize giveaways are in the forum at the end of the Hop.

Okay...  Here's the link to your next stop.  Just click the image and you're on your way.  Have fun!  See you again soon. *smile*

Get ready.  We're making this Friday Lucky!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guest Author - S.R. Claridge

I’m pleased to have S.R. Claridge with us today to tell us about her Just Call Me Angel series.  She's so full of life and energy, and this really comes through in her books.

Susan is also giving away a free copy of Tetterbaum’s Truth to a lucky commenter!  Which I am so excited about!  I wish I could count in that contest. Lol. *wink*  So be sure and leave a comment with your email address so we can get a hold of you if you win.  Enter your address like: Iwanna[at]win[dot]com so it's all safe with the spam protectors please.

So with out further hold-ups, Susan, please tell us about yourself.

My name is Susan Claridge and I write under the name, S.R.Claridge. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a BA in Psychology. I now live in Colorado with my husband, two children, dog and two guinea pigs. As a mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, in-law and friend, I wear many hats; but beneath it all is just plain ‘ol me. I'm simply complicated. I love autumn, moonlight and Grey Goose Vodka martinis with bleu cheese olives. I believe Friday nights were made for Mexican food and margaritas and Sunday mornings warrant an extra-spicy bloody mary. I love Jesus and know that any good in me comes from God. I believe in the power of prayer, in the freedom of forgiveness and that people can change. I think marriage requires lots of sex and friendship requires lots of love; put the two together and you've found your soul mate. I've been called unconventional, stubborn, tenacious and many other names I'd rather not repeat; most often because I speak my mind. I have a terrible temper and a tender heart, and somehow they balance. At times I may appear teetering on the edge, but I'd rather walk dangerously where there's a view than let life pass me by. Relationships intrigue me and so does the loyalty of Mafia families, which is why I choose these topics for my novels. 

Come visit my site and check out my book: No Easy Way, Tetterbaum's Truth, Traitors Among Us, Russian Uprising at Or friend me on FB and Twitter.

Tell us about your books.

This is from the second book in the Just Call Me Angel series, called Traitors Among Us.  (book one is Tetterbaum’s Truth and book three is Russian Uprising).

With Tetterbaum’s Truth revealed and her identity exposed, Angel Martin tries to adjust to her new role as head of the Chicago Maratinzano family.  The sudden kidnapping of her mother and Aunt Olga leads Angel down a path to an adversary she is unable to find.  When an FBI mob bust against her family is fueled by upper administration level information, Angel turns to the other Chicago Bosses for answers; but every trail dead ends and every person is not who they seem. Racing to save the people she loves most, Angel must learn to trust her instincts, even when she comes face-to-face with the scariest truth yet… there are Traitors Among Us.

Read the first 30 pages of Traitors Among Us here:

What they’re saying:

Tetterbaum's Truth

"Non-stop action-packed thrill-ride!! This is the second book in the series and if you haven't read the first one, it's called Tetterbaum's Truth, you need to read it first. I can't wait for the next book to come out. I read anywhere from 50-100 books each year and this Just Call Me Angel series is one of the best I've read in the past several years. These books are published through a small press (Vanilla Heart) who I predict will be thanking their lucky stars they signed this author as soon as word about this series hits the masses. Excellent read! If you want to dive into a great series folks, this is the one for you!”—Canada Reviewers

Traitors Among Us

“Many popular writers will tell you the first sentence of a novel is the most important; it should hook the reader right away. In fact, I've heard that Stephen King actually 
 collects excellent first lines from other writers via his website. Well, if so, S.R. Claridge should send him the first line of TRAITORS AMONG US because it does just that: snares you immediately... I enjoyed her first book, but this one is even better and I'll tell you why. There's a new element among the mystery, suspense, and romance and it's humor. And well done, too. She's written in a new, quirky character whose dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny… [Claridge] says her background in theatre and psychology helps her fill the pages of each novel with enough dramatic suspense to keep readers guessing until the very end. And that's exactly what she does. Throughout, you never know whom to believe. Well, that's fine by me; I'm ready for more. Recommended.”—Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews

Russian Uprising

“Rare indeed are the instances in life when the sequel is equally as good if not even better than the first; but this is the case in the Just Call Me Angel series by S.R.Claridge. Book one, Tetterbaum's Truth, introduces us to Angel Martin and involves us on her trek for self-discovery which leads her into the murky shadows of Mafia life. Book two, Traitors Among Us, is nothing short of an adrenaline kick; each page packed with action-filled suspense. The author skillfully weaves the story around each character and takes us deeper into conflict at every turn. This book will keep you up late at night reading and will leave you begging for another chapter in the life of the feistiest Mafia female to hit the literary world. Keep your eyes open folks, I predict you'll be seeing a lot more from this author.”—Robert Westin - BWM

What’s coming up next?

I am currently writing the fourth book in the Just Call Me Angel series, as well as a stand-alone political cult suspense.  I am hoping both will be released in 2012. 

Where can we get your books?

All of my books are available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble and Smashwords in Ebook and Paperback.

Want more Susan?  Here’s where you can find her:

Thank you for being with us, Susan.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your blog today.

Be sure to leave a comment with your email to be entered to win a free download of Tetterbaum's Truth!

Winner will be drawn midnight Saturday and post on Sunday. So, get your entry in!


Monday, January 2, 2012

The Winner Of Charlene Blogs New Year's Hop Giveaway...

Congratulations Katsrus!  You win a PDF copy of Cornerstone Deep and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.  I will be touch with you soon. *smile*

A PDF copy of Cornerstone Deep and a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card!

Thank you, everyone, for making the New Year's Celebration Blog Hop a success.  I hope you have prosperous year filled with love.

Be sure to mark your calendars for Cornerstone Deep Echoes' Virtual Book Tour that will take place through the month of February.  It's the perfect time for a Romance to be released--around Valentine's Day.  It will be available February 15th, but copies will be given away at blog stops, in weekly drawings along with gift cards, and in the grand prize drawing at the end!  Scented candles, signed copies of Cornerstone Deep and Cornerstone Deep Echoes, bookmarks, and gift cards are among the prizes I'll be giving away.  For tour details, click on the CD Echoes Tour page here on Charlene Blogs, or on, and I also have it listed on the Facebook Fan Page under Notes

There are lots of ways to improve your chances to win!  So, do hop over and check it out. *smile*

Happy New Year Everyone!

Glitter Graphics |